Elizabeth McIntosh, Black Dress, 2016, oil on canvas, 85 × 75".

Elizabeth McIntosh


Elizabeth McIntosh, Black Dress, 2016, oil on canvas, 85 × 75".

It’s been fourteen years since Elizabeth McIntosh has had a one-person show in New York. Her work has changed since then, not surprisingly, and twice over. The Canadian painter’s work of the early 2000s was strictly abstract—in fact, as I remember, it was strict altogether: rather tight and orderly. A break from the studio following the birth of her daughter shortly after that 2002 show was followed by the first shift: Her paintings started looking looser, faster, more playful. This tendency has only intensified as time has gone on. Her use of flatness, pattern, and geometry remained certifiably modernist, yet the insouciance of her approach kept the work fresh and unpredictable.

The second shift came much more recently: It would no longer be quite accurate to describe the paintings in McIntosh’s recent exhibition “Bricks Are Heavy” as abstract. By the same token, though,

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